It’s time to get involved in this year’s latest charity campaign with Alder Hey Children's Hospital Charity, Together for Alder Hey, which is all about transforming the way mental health services are delivered to children.
70% of young people with a mental health condition are currently missing out on vital mental health interventions at a sufficiently early age, so we want to help Alder Hey raise an amazing £3m to get children access to the mental health support and treatment that they need, when they need it.
We spoke to some of the amazing patients and staff at Alder Hey about the campaign, so read below to find out more and check out the speech bubbles to see each person's message for their younger self.
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“I was really excited to be a part of this campaign to promote mental health well-being for children and young people and the services available here at Alder Hey. ‘Never Give Up’ stands out to me from this campaign, no matter how much you may be struggling - help is available. You are braver than you think, talk to someone and never give up.”
Lydia was almost 16 when she was referred into CAMHS after visiting her GP, presenting with worries and behaviours that were constantly escalating. These behaviours made her feel very isolated, anxious and fearful. An appointment with a mental health practitioner and psychiatrist followed, where Lydia began medication in order to get her to a point where she could then access talking therapies. She was diagnosed with OCD, anxiety and depression. Lydia says the diagnose was a relief to her and marked the start of a long recovery. She believes she will always live with OCD but doesn’t believe her diagnosis controls her. Lydia says she has learnt ways to live a more normal life, and was so inspired by her experiences at Alder Hey that she has now started training as a paediatric nurse.
“Despite unprecedented and difficult times recently, the young people on my caseload have shown amazing resilience throughout and have taught me a few things about never giving up and believing in oneself. I am so lucky to work in such a great team with brilliant and caring practitioners but the best thing about working at Fresh CAMHS is the amazing young people I get to meet and help every day.”
Stephen (known as Worthy) has worked in mental health for 15 years as a Mental Health Nurse with a background in working with people of all ages with complex needs and difficulties. He recently joined the Fresh CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
“We know that 50% of mental health problems start before the age of 14, so children’s mental health matters. Too few young people access services and this needs to change. This campaign will ensure greater awareness and help discussion of young people’s mental health. Thankfully as a society we’re starting to focus on what we need to do to improve mental health – you matter, believe in yourself and most importantly, never give up!”
Sally is a lead Consultant Psychiatrist working in the Crisis Care Service which provides a 24/7 service to children and young people who are experiencing mental health crises.
“At Alder Hey we understand the impact poor mental health can have on young people and their families; and we are continually working hard to provide the best possible care, in the form of various therapies and medication. The Matalan campaign is an incredible platform to talk about the importance of mental health in young people and an opportunity for us to showcase the amazing work that the Community Mental Health Service is doing.”
Smita works with young people aged 6-18, who present with a variety of emotional and behavioural difficulties, including low mood, anxiety, self-harm and eating disorders. She is constantly amazed at how resilient many of these young people are and is truly inspired by how they strive to overcome their difficulties and never give up.
“I have loved every minute working on the Alder Hey campaigns. Every step of this journey towards the launch has been filled with inspiring children and incredible staff. This year’s campaign symbolises the togetherness that the hospital represents, from staff and patients to families and fundraisers around the country.”